I was already dead when the knife cut through Mister James Wallis. Humanity had gone away and there was no retrieving it. Cold was the air, like me. I am so very cold. My soul has no warmth to receive or give. He fights against me. He makes me want to end him. The blade was the only instrument in his death. I was the man behind the tragedy of tonight.
I have become the murder. The victim is my most beloved friend. He fights only because he wants to die. Everyone wants something in life. Some want money, some want love and some want what most are too afraid to desire or ask for. I am giving this man his desire, the desire to be murdered. He spoke of it today. He wanted to die, and so I delivered.
He will love me for what I have done. He so loves me now. He falls to the ground in much pain, in much despair. He bleeds and he screams, he screams until life has passed and all troubles have gone. His eyes suddenly come to me. They slowly rise and meet my gaze. His mouth opens and he speaks for the last time.
“Wife…,” Was all he could bear to say. The word faded into memory, my memory, for after he passed, it stuck with me. All was silent now. The house grew dark with envious terror. The shadows turned from me, from what I have become. They walk towards the woman by my side. She saw my crime, yet she did nothing, said nothing. Like me, she feels nothing, nothing for her murdered husband. We had planned it together. I was the instrument in Miss Nora Wallis’s plan to murder her love.
She came to me with the wealth and treasure of the ages. I was nothing but a simple shop worker. No harm had I ever caused. I was the victim in this plot, a tool of blood. She was and is the real murderer. I am the murder itself.
Her smile was one of devilish delight, of incredible spite and all that had become hers tonight. Nora hated the dead man, that smug lawyer who had far outdone her in every way one could be out done. She was nothing but a simple house wife. She stood by while her husband laughed, as he succeeded in life and she failed. Even a child could not be hers, but now his death will be. She has claimed his life, his wealth, his murder. All was hers on this night.
“It is done. His soul has been taken by your knife, by my plan. What a mess we have made,” Uttered the widow, no longer having a care in the world. She disregarded all life. Her cat likes eyes stared back into mine. I couldn’t help but be drawn to her, to that lovely widow of grace, the one who had orchestrated death.
“The mess is well worth the rewards. A knife truly is the best instrument to kill a man. It is not blunt and it is not swift. It is a slow weapon. The knife claws its way into the victim. The knife is a murderer’s friend. It allows for pain, pleasure, and a climatic end.” My words came with sudden delight and ecstasy. Nora appeared quite shocked by my love for the knife, by my love for something far greater.
“You did well my friend. I will repay with the rewards that I have so promised you. The death of my husband is the birth of freedom for me. I have been liberated by the knife.” Nora’s face grew paler by the second. She appeared also happy, but worry stirred within her. The murder was not over. The consequences of such an act hung in her mind. I could see the distress upon her beautiful face.
“But not all is done. We must dispose of the body. I will not be free until this thing has been disposed of. You will help me. The murder is not yet over.” The widow yearned for the body to be gone, but she could not bear to dispose of it herself. She needed me. She needed me to save her, me, a killer. Everything I do comes at a price. That is the way the world works. We all must make sacrifices. Nora has more she can offer me, so much more.
“You are right, the murder is not over. A body needs disposing of, and I will do just that, but everything has a price. Your money is not enough for me Nora. In all the world money could never be enough, killing could never be enough. I need the sweet, soft, feeling of passion and bliss. You can offer me that my dear. I will embrace your sweet touch. All I ask is that the passion you once shared with a dead man transcend to me. I am cold Nora, so very cold. Warmth is what I require. Give me your warmth.”
My words came with such passion, with such emotion, more than I had expressed in many of a year. Nora appeared quite shocked by my intentions. Her once tense eyes widened. I had shocked her, in every way a man could shock a woman. She turned away from me. Nora was afraid. Regret had finally pierced her soul.
“I think you’re mad. I could never hope to love such a man. I cannot love. My husband tried, oh dear did he try. He was not a mean fellow. He was so very kind, gentle in the purest sense. He loved me, but I could never love. I wanted that money, that money in his pocket. I can never love, don’t you see? Ambition defeats compassion, at least for me. Can we not come to some other arrangement?”
“No we cannot. It is your soul or nothing. Murder comes at a price darling.”
“Then it must be nothing, for I will not give or even lend myself to you. If you will not aid me in disposing of the body, then so be it.” The widow was getting bolder with her words of dark injustice. She had rejected my sentiment, and rejection means so much more than most would conceive. To be rejected is like taking a knife to the heart, but sense I feel nothing, the knife could not pierce me. Yet, and yet, I will not be denied. All must be mine tonight, just like all was once hers.
“Your words mean nothing. Nora, you will be my work of art. I don’t care weather you are dead or alive. Everything has a price my dear widow. Did you think I would just take the money and walk away? No, I will never leave until all is mine. You owe me much my dear. I grow so impatient.” Nora began to back away from me. It was so very dark. She began to pant. I could feel her fear, I could feel her heart. Her eyes despaired as she backed up against the front door. I came; I came like a shadow in the night to end her. I am cold, so very cold.
“Don’t touch me! I did not come here to be murdered!” she screamed in terror.
“Of course not dear, no one ever expects to be murdered. We all get murdered for various reasons. In your husband’s case it was simply a matter of money, but this murder is a crime of passion. I need you Nora, I need your warmth.” The widow was in a state of panic. She longed for escape, an escape that only I could provide.
“I thought we had an agreement?” she shrieked.
“We had an agreement to murder your husband, a man you so killed. I was just an instrument in your plan. Is that not so?”
“Yes! Yes! I murdered my husband, and now you are going to murder me! Help!” she cried to the heavens, to a force that did not seem to hear her. I came upon her with brute strength. Nothing could save this woman now, nothing but a man sense dead. Suddenly, light came into the apartment. By one stroke of a switch I was seen, Nora was seen, and James was seen clenching the light with all his might, covered in blood. He lived. The shock upon the former widow’s face is beyond my description. She was simply pale, pale, and petrified. James came towards us, perfectly healthy. He came to my side and looked at me with the same glare he had given me just moments ago.
“I was going to say that my wife is under arrest.” James smiled at me with great confidence. He had succeeded in getting his wife to confess to his false murder. I have been his right hand man in this endeavor, me, a police detective.
“Will someone please explain to me what is happening here?” cried the guilty woman, turning to me with flames of furry.
“A knife is a weapon of such beauty, especially when it is made of nothing more then cheap plastic.” I laughed, loving every moment of the biggest case of my career. Nora did not know what to say. She did not know weather to laugh, or scream, or laugh and scream. She was in utter disbelieve.
“How is this possible? I saw you slash my husband into peaces! Nothing makes sense!” Tears began to fall down Nora’s pale face. She had become a very sad woman.
“In the dark your eyes can deceive you.” said James. “I planned it all out, and you thought you had finally bested me, my wife that will never be. Today I have won my most important case, my own personal case. The detective here aided me perfectly, just as he aided you perfectly. He acted the part of the villain, the murderer. He convinced you, did he not? But this man would never hurt a fly.” James spoke his words with such confidence, confidence that I could never hope to know, but I am just a simple detective and I have done my job.
Nora broke down into tears. She glared at me with hatred. She despised the both of us. She had become a scorned woman, one that could never forgive. We had both done wrong in her eyes.
“I trusted you, I trusted both of you!” she shouted in anger.
“If I had trusted you Nora, I would be dead, but luckily I got to you first. We are going to have to bring you in. I am sorry my dear wife. We could have been so much more together.” Sympathy poured in James words, though I had none. This woman had forced me to play the part of murderer, something I could never be. She forced me to be close to death, but the truth is I am alive, so very much alive.
Miss Wallis was swiftly and discreetly taken from the small apartment east of Broadway. I and my trusted client made sure that she could not escape from our tight grasp. We could feel the rage boiling inside her, that desire for revenge and total salvation through means of blood and murder. A black car awaited her. It stared at her as we approached in the dead of night. All was silent, all was calm. The city was resting, we were arresting.
Miss Nora continued to weep to the very last step. I slowly opened that black door which would send Nora and her murdering schemes away. James hesitated, but eventually let go of his wife and allowed me to place her in the vehicle. Mister Wallis appeared rather nervous. He was having trouble sending his love away, no doubt. He felt guilty some what. His hands shook with much nervousness. He sweated and panted as I shut the door to the car. James did not look at all well.
“Is there something a matter?” I asked, concerned. James just stared back at me. His face grew pale. His eyes opened wide. He appeared quite unwell, not in body, but in mind. I could see a wild look in his eye, as if he were about to snap. He appeared rather dangerous. James was beginning to frighten me.
“I am fine; it is just that I never thought it would come to this. I thought that when my wife finally got what she deserved, I would be overjoyed to hear the news, but now I can barely stand the thought of her leaving. I know it sounds crazy, and perhaps I am crazy, but Nora cannot leave me. Detective, I beg you not to take her. I will still pay you what I promised. I will give you more if you wish, just don’t take Nora away. This is a blunder on my part. I thought that we could separate, but the morning is coming, and in the morning we should be together. I am so very sorry detective. This is all my fault.”
James Wallis had become another man. The confidence he once held was all but fading. He could not go through with arrest, something I fail to understand. This is most odd. The night has been full of surprises.
“You must bring your wits about you Mister Wallis. Don’t break down Mister Wallis. I need you to be strong. This woman feels nothing for you. This woman is the cold one. She would have killed you. She shall again if I allow her to go free. We must stick to our plan. This is not about money; this is not about love or lust. We must do what is right; can you not see Mister Wallis?”
James did not appear to be taking my words to heart. His soul was cracking. He seemed to be fixated on only one thing, setting his wife free. In this moment he had lost all sense of pride and dignity, but that has always been the way of life. Each of us breaks down sooner or later. We rarely go through with our so called plans. James was failing pray to human nature.
“I know you mean well detective, but I shall handle my wife from now on. Your services are no longer required. Now, step away.” I sensed hostility in James’s voice. He was becoming a very dangerous man. I slowly reached into my coat pocket. I could feel my gun. Hopefully, I would not have to use it.
“Don’t be a fool Mister Wallis. You cannot go against the law. I am brining your wife in and that is the way of things. Back away from the vehicle.” James did not obey my order. He slowly came towards me with a desperate look in his eye. He seemed like he would do anything to retrieve his beloved. Quickly, I drew the gun on him. James suddenly stopped in his tracks. We glared at one another for what seemed like an eternity. All was calm, all was dead. I could hear the echoing of my breath, the tapping of my shoes. The situation was most grave.
“Put the gun down detective. We don’t need to make a scene here. I am a peaceful man. No violence needs to take place. You have done your job. I beat my wife at her own game. I am satisfied with the events of tonight. Put down the gun!” I could almost feel him as he continued to come fourth. I could feel my fingers on the trigger, ready to fire. I could feel the blood rushing through my very being! Oh the horror! The horror of what I have done! James Wallis’s body fell. It fell and hit the pavement.
His dead eyes glared up at me, only this time they truly were dead. This was no stunt, no act! James Wallis was dead. I have become the murder, me, a detective. I turn away from the scene. I have blood on my hands. I have seen and done terrible things.
When I open the door to the car, she is not there. Nora has fled in the midst of the violence. She was a woman who plotted to kill her husband, and in the end she succeeded. I have failed on this night. I have done murder, and murder always has a price.